Saturday, May 2

Go Ahead. Make My Day.

Call me a cynic. Call me a heathen (no kiddin'). Call me an atheist. Call me a godless lesbian prone to witchcraft and rioting. Call me what you will, this makes me happy.

The other day, I wrote here about one of the findings of the recent study conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, that half of adults change their religious affiliation. Apparently, that was just a warm-up.

It turns out that the more often one goes to church, the more one is likely to approve of torture of suspected terrorists. Let me repeat: suspected terrorists.


Here's the deal. 54 percent of Christians who are at-least-weekly church-goers say torture is either often or sometimes justifiable; for those who attend monthly or a few times a year, that figure is 51 percent; for those who do not attend, it is 42 percent. Evangelical Christians are apparently the most prone to saying torture is justifiable than Protestants and Catholics. Unaffiliateds--a group composed of atheists, agnostics, and those who say their religion is "nothing in particular"--support torture the least. For a closer look, here's the data:

It's got pundits (and me) wondering what happened to "turn the other cheek", or "judge not..." (especially since we're talking about suspects). More to the point, it's interesting that this group is also the most politically conservative, and tend to regard themselves as more "patriotic", in which case you'd think they'd kinda believe in "innocent until proven guilty". It's sort of a staple of American justice, no?

But then again, we could take a look at their views on punishment in general, most notably of children. Okay, I can see that. I don't get how it lines up with being Christ-like, but I can see it.

It does make me wonder what other results are comin' down the pike from this study. I'm salivating just thinking about it.


ConverseMomma said...

As a recovering catholic, I can attest that religion is not an opiate for the people, but justification for injustice, prejudice, and outright violence that we perpetuate on one another. Ugh!
Great post!

Robin said...

I think it's both. How could any thinking person tolerate that level of injustice, prejudice and violence without something to numb themselves...

The Devil's Daughter-In-Law said...

Makes perfect sense to me. I can't think of another book more rife with torture than the xian bible. This kind of hypocrisy doesn't come as a surprise to me at all.